I haven’t written much about it publicly because it’s been so intense and confusing and extraordinary, but for almost a year, I have been involved in what others describe to me as a “twin flame” or “soul twin” relationship. Dennis and I are not a “couple” in any traditional sense of the word. He’s a gay man. I’m a straight woman. Both of us have recently experienced divorces from our partners, so we are technically “single,” but a number of factors keep us from getting involved in a typical romantic relationship.
And yet, we are both learning more about love than either of us ever had in our other conventional relationships.
Before last January, I had never heard of a “twin flame” or a “soul twin.” Of course, the term “soulmate” gets bantered about, but I’m told this is not the same thing. A soulmate may be someone with whom you’ve had a deep soul connection and perhaps been involved with in past lives. Such a relationship may have a lot of karma attached to it, so such relationships can be quite intense and deeply loving.
But apparently (I say apparently because my ego mind still argues about whether such a relationship is really “real”), twin flames are different and much more rare. I can’t quite grok people’s explanations of what a twin flame is. Some say you’re one soul split and incarnated into two bodies. Others say you’ve just had many many past lives together so the link between you is like high speed internet through a direct cable. Some say you’re from the same soul family in the spirit realm, but you rarely incarnate together, that one partner of such a relationship usually stays in the spirit realm to act as a guide for the other, and if both parts of the pair incarnate together, it’s because they’ve been called into spiritual service in an extraordinary way. None of these explanations make sense to my rational doctor’s mind. And yet, something feels true about this with Dennis and I. The link between us feels like more than an emotional bond or an energetic cord. It feels skeletal.
While many romantic love relationships revolve around coddling and comforting one another’s egos, the whole point of a twin flame relationship is to wake each other up. Instead of adjusting to each other’s egos and babying each other’s wounds, twin flames agree on some soul level to annihilate each other’s egos. Such a process can be devastating on a human level, because it can feel like criticism, rejection, abandonment, disappointment, and hurt. And yet, when you realize what you’re doing together, and you recognize that such a relationship launches you onto the spiritual fast track, if you’re wise, you’ll high five each other and dive right in.
So what does it mean to annihilate each other’s egos? It’s similar to what I described in this article about “evolutionary relationships.” Basically, in a twin flame relationship, you are perfect mirrors for each other, and without necessarily even intending to, you perfectly trigger each other’s often hidden blind spots of the ego, of how we create and recreate our own suffering, usually based on unconscious beliefs or patterns from our childhood. For many people, such a relationship is intolerable. I have to say I have never cried so much in my entire life as I have since I met Dennis. But when you are able to view such a relationship through the lens of your soul, rather than through the defenses of your ego, you realize it is the greatest blessing you could ever ask for.
I’m told that most people who are part of a twin flame relationship resist such a bond. Someone usually runs away, as Dennis did early on in our relationship. Our story began with an intense mystical experience last January (which I wrote about in detail here), and the experience shocked us both. For Dennis, it was so frightening that he hopped on a plane and wouldn’t see me for ten weeks, even though we spoke every day. For me, it has been so painful that I’ve almost bailed a dozen times, and were it not for the counsel of some very wise spiritual advisors, my ego probably would have won.
And yet, after the worst disagreement of our relationship, and after three months of living apart—me in California, him in Peru—we are now in Australia together, where we’re about to spend a week in ceremony with modern spiritual teachers and indigenous wisdom keepers in preparation for the UPLIFT Festival in Byron Bay, where I’ll be speaking.
Yesterday, as we stood on a cliff overlooking the ocean, gazing into each other’s souls through the windows of our eyes, I had yet another of many epiphanies I’ve had since I met Dennis. As I looked into his pupils, I saw God consciousness, reflecting back to me the God consciousness within me. And as I looked into his blue irises, I saw myself in his eyes, a literal mirror, as if God was looking out at God itself, and in that union, something much larger than either of us was activated. There was no separation, a merging of energy bodies that dissolved any of the illusion of separation that accompanies the ego. The intimacy of such a moment is almost unbearable on a human level. Of course, we are all God consciousness, gazing out at the world through human eyes, and yet most of us have forgotten Who We Really Are.
When you Remember Who You Are—when you un-forget that you are not God consciousness, when you dissolve the illusion of what the yogis call “maya” in the presence of another human being—it is extraordinary beyond words.
To call it “love” feels diminishing. It’s too laden with lower vibration meanings in our language. Yet, I’ll call it love—Divine love, maybe—for lack of a better word. I’ve written a lot of blog posts about “boundaries” inspired by my relationship with Dennis. (Read two of them here and here.) Yet, in this state of two humans un-forgetting that we ARE Love Itself, Dennis and I remembered that love is the strongest thing there is, and it doesn’t need to be defended.
You don’t have to protect the open heart because the heart is the greatest defense we have.
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You don’t have to erect walls because the walls only defend the ego and its insane illusion of separation.
I’ve been arguing with therapists for four years because they say I have “boundary issues,” and on this human level, they’re right. Learning the difference between judgment and discernment, for example, has served me well. Learning to step out of the role of either the Narcissist or the Echo, is strengthening all my other relationships. And yet, my argument with my therapists has revolved around this intuitive knowing I’ve had, that love doesn’t need to be defended, that love itself is the defense, that forgiveness is always a more powerful defense than iron walls around the heart, that we must give people permission to break our hearts, because it’s only the ego that gets hurt. As Byron Katie says:
Egos are vulnerable to disappointment, hurt, anger, and suffering, But Love is untouchable. Love can’t be hurt. Love doesn’t need to be guarded against. Love doesn’t separate us. And yet, it is the ultimate paradox. While love is the strongest thing we have, it also makes us the most vulnerable on the level of the ego. When we love as much as we can love when we are two humans embodying God consciousness together, un-forgetting Who We Really Are in each other’s presence, it’s terrifying on a human level. It feels like there’s so much to lose, so much preciousness the ego wants to cling to. And yet love doesn’t cling because love grants another unconditional love and freedom (though as I wrote about here, on the human level, you can have unconditional love and freedom- plus highly conditional ACCESS).
Dennis’s realization about all this (which I’m sharing with his full consent), is this, in Dennis’s words:
The only people who can hurt you are the people who you allow to come close, the ones you are in intimate relationships with. Once they hurt you—break your trust, betray you, disagree with you—all those things create an artificial sense of separation. The only way to really connect with someone is to let go of all of the stuff that is closing down your heart and grasping at your belly. No one on the outside is hurting you. It’s all YOU hurting you. Although it’s important on the ego level, to make things work on a human level, it also prevents you from connecting with someone at this level of God consciousness.
It brings us back to the original definition of the word “forgiveness,” which is based on the Greek word meaning to let go of your opinions and judgments of the actions of others. You might make up stories about another, thinking “You broke my trust, you insulted me, you hurt me with your actions or your words.” All of those thoughts of separation divide you from another and make it impossible to experience this level of Divine intimacy. To forgive means to let go of your opinions of the other. It’s also letting go of the physical responses in your body, the physical distance that you’ve created—the tensions that are creating you from even sustaining eye contact with another. When you let go of the judgments and physical defenses, you can truly make contact with others at this higher level. You realize that there’s nothing keeping you separate. All the stuff that is feeling hurt or mistrusting, even in the name of “healthy boundaries,” is actually creating separation. Once you let go, you realize that the separation is only created by the ego. Your actions create the separation, but at your essence, there is no separation and no one can hurt you. You are One, and Love is all there is.
I don’t understand any of this on the level of the rational mind, which is why I’ve never written about twin flames on my blog. But I wanted to share this experience with you because I sense that more and more souls are going to be choosing to engage in these kinds of relationships, and as someone who has been in the cauldron of such a relationship, I just want to encourage those of you on this cusp of this kind Big Love to say YES. Don’t run away from the call to wake up together. Don’t let your ego win the battle (and yes, it WILL feel like a battle). Don’t miss the opportunity to un-forget Who You Really Are or to experience this kind of intimacy with another human being.
When you say yes, you heal not just yourself and the other, you heal the planet, and we need this now more than ever . . .
Lissa Rankin, M.D., New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine and the upcoming The Fear Cure, is a physician, author, speaker, and founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute, a training program for physicians and other health care providers. She is on a mission to merge science and spirituality in a way that not only facilitates the health of the individual; it also heals the collective. Lissa also co-teaches teleclass programs about spirituality, such as Medicine For The Soul with Rachel Naomi Remen, MD and Coming Home To Your Spirit with Martha Beck, PhD. Read her blog and learn more at LissaRankin.com.